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There was a time in the not-so-distant past when web graphics meant buttons and icons. All you needed was a nice GIF or JPEG file, and you were done. These days, however, web sites are fully functional with moving parts that are being updated constantly. The requirements for graphics are quite different, especially considering that CSS can enable designers and developers to define certain graphics' attributes in code. In addition, there are different technologies that are being used these days to build web sites and applications. Of course, the way that you work is often defined by who you're working, be it working on your own or as part of a larger team.
Now Illustrator can be used for a variety of different projects that include designing for web sites, interfaces for web and mobile applications or games, and individual graphics for a variety of needs such as advertising, ad banners and such, and navigation buttons and user interface elements. When it comes to building web sites or Internet applications, there are generally two paths that you take. Either you can take advantage of open standards such as HTML and CSS, or you can build for the Adobe Flash platform where your content plays either in the Flash Player within a browser or directly on the desktop with Adobe AIR.
Of course, you can always employ both of these paths by combining them into a single solution. There are many web sites that embeds SWF content somewhere within an overall page, for example. The wonderful thing about Illustrator is that you can rely on the same powerful design environment, no matter which technology path you or the developer chooses. Speaking of developers, while designers can certainly build web sites on their own. There are many times when designers and developers work hand-in-hand to build more complex web sites, especially those sites or apps that are dynamically driven by real-time data, or that require a connection to a database.
As a universal app that can export graphics in virtually any format, Illustrator is the perfect tool for individual designers, developers, or collaborative teams of both designers and developers.
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